Music 128 Composing, Coding, and Performance with SLOrk ArtsInst 150 The Changing World of Popular Music Music 192C Session Recording Music 220C Research Seminar in Computer-Generated Music Music 220D Research in Computer-Generated Music Music 222 Sound in Space Music 251 Psychophysics and Music Cognition Music 254 Music Query, Analysis, and Style Simulation (CS275B) Music 257 Neuroplasticity and Musical Gaming Music 318 Advanced Acoustics Music 319 Research Seminar on Computational Models of Sound Perception Music 420A Signal Processing Models in Musical Acoustics Music 424 Signal Processing Techniques for Digital Audio Effects
In case you were wondering, all these *LOrk digressions did not come out of nowhere. Many of them are reflections directly connected to my own great experience with SLOrk in the Spring of 2010, when my piece Intellectual Improperty 0.6 was composed and performed.
The recoup of sound proximity by the performer doesn't come without new problems. A more sophisticated vocabulary of “instrumental” gestures would certainly help to infuse the regained sound localization with new meaning; but a rich gestural vocabulary (if possible at all) has not yet developed, having been limited up to now to relatively simple connections between gesture and sound.
When ten or twenty musicians sit on the floor on colorful cushions with their laptops sitting on nice little breakfast tables in front of them, a theatrical situation is created: the audience is led to accept those everyday objects as musical instruments in some way (more, perhaps, than when a solo laptop performer sits on stage). It is a kind of implicit pact that the public seems generally willing to accept.
By using external controllers of various sorts (usually of a more “gestural” nature, beyond the keyboard-and-trackpad paradigm), a laptop performer engages on gestural activity that reconnects her, at least on one level, with the dimension of movement as discussed in my previous tentative definition of musical instrument.